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Neighbourly named among 50 global tech start-ups powering the new retail world

28 April 2020
discovery50

We're delighted to reveal that Neighbourly is among the top 50 retail tech start-ups operating globally, according to a new report published by RWRC – home of Retail Week and World Retail Congress. The Discovery 50 report showcases the world’s top tech start-ups and shines a light on innovative solutions that can support the retail sector – both during the pandemic and in the future.


Why The Discovery 50 was created

Retailers worldwide are scrutinising their business models more closely than ever, as they grapple with the impact of the coronavirus crisis and seek to deliver sales and maintain relevance among consumers. There is a growing realisation in boardrooms that collaboration with start-ups and third parties is crucial to achieve these aims and to better position businesses within the new post-Covid-19 world of commerce.

Profiling the top 50 global retail tech start-ups, the Discovery 50 report analyses the influential role start-ups, including Neighbourly, play in this new world.


How the report was compiled

The entries for the report were judged and shortlisted by a panel of retail and business experts including retail consultant Ian Shephard, retail analyst Natalie Berg, former Morrisons CTO Anna Barsby, Co:Cubed chief executive Jeremy Basset, Retail Week head of insight Lisa Byfield-Green and more.

All the businesses listed in the Discovery 50 started trading in the last seven years and have worked with a breadth of retailers and brands to help transform their businesses, either through a pilot or full-scale solution.


Who are the other 49?

Many of the start-ups in the list have helped brands to leverage their online presence, support the development of tribes and communities and take costs out of a business – all areas that are front of mind as the sector enters uncharted coronavirus-influenced waters. Several others specialise in in-store solutions, some of which will be redundant for retailers right now, but which have the potential to help non-essential shops bounce back when the crisis passes. The report also offers advice on how leaders can open themselves up to new and different ways of thinking and the benefits this can have on the bottom line. Access the Discovery 50 report in full here, or have a quick look at the list below.


What Retail Week said

Retail Week commercial content editor Megan Dunsby told us: “The Discovery 50 shows how start-ups can offer a lifeline for retailers. Now is the time for businesses to think about how they could work differently with the start-up community and build synergies; from creating a fast-track, light-touch process for forming contractual relationships to pre-allocating some funding that can be used for trials. Many start-ups in the Discovery 50 have implemented pilot schemes within weeks of starting conversations with a retailer, while others have been able to integrate full-scale solutions in a matter of months that have delivered major return on investment. Retailers should look to the Discovery 50 as a directory of the best start-ups to work with.”


The 50...

Aura Vision • Avasam • Catapult • Clearpay • Common Objective • Donde Search • Duologi • DynamicAction • ElizaSixtyFour • Engagement Agents • Flux • Gophr • Hurr Collective • Hyper • Increasingly • Intelistyle • Karakuri • LiSA • LovetheSales • LoyaltyLion • meepl • Mercaux • NearSt • Neighbourly • Nextail • Ometria • Omnia Retail • Onvu Retail • parcelLab • Peak • Personify XP • PlanVault • Quorso • RevLifter • Scurri • Shopper Intelligence • SignStix • Smarter Click Technology • Sook • Sparkbox • Spoon Guru • StorIQ • Stuffstr • Thyngs • TokyWoky • VeeLoop • VoCoVo • WiseShelf • ZigZag Global • Zoovu

giffgaff launches ‘goodybank’ with a donation to the Neighbourly Community Fund

22 April 2020
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We're delighted with the news that giffgaff has launched ‘goodybank’ - a brand new initiative to help local communities in Britain and members of the giffgaff community facing hardship during this difficult time.

Founded on giffgaff’s principles of community and choice, the goodybank allows their members to help in two distinct ways - the first being a hardship fund for giffgaff members. Over the past few weeks, giffgaff has been supporting vulnerable members, many of whom have contacted the mobile phone network as a result of the current crisis. Acknowledging that its members are passionate about supporting each other, the goodybank will now allow members to purchase additional credit in the form of minutes, texts or data that will then be donated directly to other members facing hardship and giffgaff has committed to matching donations made by members. As phones become increasingly important throughout COVID-19 and for many the only means of communication with the outside world, giffgaff and its members want to ensure that everyone stays connected.

Ash Schofield, CEO of giffgaff said, “At giffgaff we have always had community at our heart and never has a sense of community been more important. We are already helping vulnerable members, many of whom contacted us as a result of the current crisis and will continue to do so. However, our members are an altruistic bunch, and the goodybank allows them to get involved should they be able to help. Even if we’re far apart, we want people to know they can ask for help and someone will always be there to offer that help and keep them connected.”

The second exciting option within goodybank is for members to make a donation directly to the Neighbourly Community Fund, into which giffgaff has already pledged £75,000. Through the partnership with Neighbourly giffgaff hope to maximise the amount of people it can help at a local level and guarantees that the right people in communities will be given the help and support they need. In our recent study we found that many of the charities in our network were worried about the closure of normal services like lunch clubs for the elderly and emergency food parcels, whilst at the same time needing to support an average of 180 people per week in the community with emergency provisions. The fund is giving micro-grants of £400 to these frontline groups so that services can continue.

Alongside goodybank, giffgaff has also made access to NHS websites free of charge free for every giffgaff member.

Neighbourly and its national partners increase emergency grant funding for community causes across the UK

17 April 2020
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As the coronavirus crisis continues to increase the strain on communities across the UK, Neighbourly and its partners M&S, Lidl, Aldi, Nutricia (Danone), giffgaff and Southern Co-op are extending their Community Fund so that more hyper-local causes can extend their services to help vulnerable people in need.

More than 1,200 community causes within Neighbourly’s network – including foodbanks, homeless shelters, elderly care, community support groups, youth groups and health charities – have already been awarded emergency micro-grants of up to £400 from the Community Fund since its launch four weeks ago.

Phase 2 of the Fund will widen eligibility for the grants so that local charities and community groups who are supporting those who are suffering economically, socially or from ill health can continue their work. As before, the micro-grants will be provided quickly to avoid any service disruption.

M&S, Lidl, Aldi, Nutricia (Danone), giffgaff and Southern Co-op have contributed a combined total of £450,000 to Phase 2 of the Fund, in addition to almost £500,000 which was made available in Phase 1 with donations from M&S, Lidl, Aldi, Danone and Coca-Cola European Partners. M&S have also added the Neighbourly Community Fund as one of their ‘Sparks’ charities so that customers can support the fund when purchasing from the store.

More than 2,500 charities and community causes have already applied to Neighbourly’s Community Fund, highlighting the urgent need for emergency support at a grassroots level.


Steve Butterworth, CEO of Neighbourly, said:

“We have already seen the immediate difference that these micro-grants have made, with the community causes receiving the money within days. As lockdown continues, we want to ensure that as many eligible causes as possible benefit from the Fund, so that the most at-risk people receive urgent help. This is real time grant making in action, and we are calling for more national businesses to join us and help organisations working at a hyper-local level by contributing to the Fund. Together we can get support to those people in most urgent need.”


Caroline Henderson, Founder of Food and Friendship in Brighton & Hove, said:

“We’ve been significantly impacted by Covid-19 and the donation has enabled us to buy equipment needed to convert our lunch club to a delivery service providing hot meals to very isolated and vulnerable people.”


The extension of the Fund comes as a new survey of more than 900 of the community causes in Neighbourly’s networks shows the impact of the coronavirus crisis on their services. More than 80% have adapted their services to continue to provide a service to vulnerable individuals, while 75% are struggling with funding, and 65% say they would use additional funding for emergency food provision. With the additional pressures created by coronavirus, Neighbourly’s community partners estimate that they are now each supporting an average of 260 people every week.


Chris Williams, Head of Community & Events at Richard House Children's Hospice from London, said:

“If we don’t receive financial support in the coming weeks, we could face having to stop providing end of life and emerge respite care. Without our hospice, the families we support will simply have nowhere to turn.”


Gustavo Hildenbrand, Managing Director, Nutricia, part of Danone Specialised Nutrition said:

“Looking after the elderly and those at risk in our community is at the heart of what we do as a business, and this has never been more important. That’s why Nutricia is proud to make this further contribution to the Neighbourly Community Fund, helping local groups who are doing an amazing job of serving the most vulnerable in our communities during these difficult times.”


giffgaff are contributing to the Community Fund as a new partner for Phase 2 along with Southern Co-op who are contributing to the Fund in support of local causes including the charity partners nominated by their store teams. Southern Co-op will make a donation for each member vote that is cast as part of their Board of Directors vote this year. The National Emergencies Trust is also a supporting partner of the Community Fund.


For more information about the Neighbourly Community Fund, and to find out how you can contribute or apply, visit the campaign page.

Pt 2. Ways to be Neighbourly during the Coronavirus outbreak

27 March 2020
four ways to be neighbourly during the coronavirus outbreak

Here at Neighbourly, we’ve been inspired and amazed to see the incredible efforts from local communities across the country in the last week.

Since the first edition of our blog ‘Pt 1. How to support your local community during the Coronavirus outbreak’, M&S, Coca-Cola European Partners, Danone UK & Ireland, ALDI and Lidl have put a total of almost £500k into our new Community Fund which is providing micro-grants to over 1,000 local good causes registered on Neighbourly, during the Coronavirus outbreak.

Lidl has also set up customer food donation points in stores and begun work on putting together food and supply boxes to be distributed to those who are vulnerable during the outbreak through its Feed It Back Campaign – and that’s just the news at Neighbourly.

Out there in the community, nearly half a million people have signed up to volunteer for the NHS during the crisis and we’re hearing and seeing hundreds of heart warming stories of people supporting others in a myriad of different ways – from virtual dance parties to stop loneliness to neighbourhood groups dropping supplies to those in need.

We know so many people want to get involved and help in as many ways as possible, so we’ve put together our “part two” of tips for how to best help your community.

Volunteering

For anyone wanting to lend a hand to help the NHS, the way to sign up is via Good Sam. Once you’ve signed up to volunteer, they will alert you on opportunities to help in your local area with everything from transferring patients home once they’re well enough to be discharged from hospital, to assisting pharmacies with medication delivery.

If seeing all this volunteering happen has inspired you, you can also sign up to become a Red Cross Reserve Volunteer to help both now and in any future emergencies.

(Please note: Volunteer Red Cross and NHS Responders are no longer being accepted at the moment but check back again in the future.)

Neighbourhood groups

With so many amazing people keen to help, some streets can have multiple volunteers willing to go out of their way to help neighbours in need.

To help create a more collaborative and joined up approach, many of these volunteers are coming together to agree on one person being the main point of contact for their neighbourhood or street. This makes it much easier for those who are vulnerable to know exactly who to contact if the need help.

Using social media and chat apps, the main point of contact can coordinate within their volunteer group for each task that comes in.

With one point of contact willing to link with multiple people offering help, problems can be solved much more efficiently.

If you don’t know of any other volunteers in your area and still want to help, we’ve created a Neighbourly card you can print out and pop through your neighbour’s doors to let them know you’re there for them.


self isolating coronavirus help card neighbourly


Virtual fundraising

If you’re one of the many people left saddened by a cancelled fundraising event you’ve been working hard on, don’t despair. Try taking to your webcam and coming up with a whacky idea to raise funds for local charities from your sofa. There are plenty of free tools out there to help such as Zoom video conferencing and Facebook Live.

We asked the Neighbourly team for some of their ideas for virtual fundraisers to get you started:

  • Virtual quiz or ‘pub’ night
  • Virtual talent competition
  • Virtual fancy dress contest
  • Back garden marathon
  • Street sing-off (from your windows!)

To find local charities and community groups that need your best fundraising efforts, head to the Neighbourly website.

Community Kindness

Finally, you may have noticed rainbows appearing in the windows of your neighbour’s flats and houses. This was started to bring cheer for children on walks round their neighbourhood.

Popping a rainbow in your window is an easy way to make a friendly gesture to your neighbours.

Just remember, you don’t have to be an artist to draw a rainbow – and you don’t need to be a child to go rainbow spotting either!



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(Image Credit: Rowan Clark)

If you liked this blog and want more advice, check out part one of how to help your local community during the Coronavirus outbreak. If you share it on Twitter, don’t forget to follow and tag us @nbrly.

New fund to support community organisations helping those most at risk during Coronavirus crisis

20 March 2020
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Here at Neighbourly we know now, more than ever, how important it is to support local communities. That's why we've set up a new Community Fund, backed by our partner businesses, to support the Neighbourly causes that will be most affected by the Covid-19 outbreak.

M&S Family (including M&S Bank and M&S Energy), Lidl, Aldi, Danone UK & Ireland and Coca-Cola European Partners have created a new fund to support community organisations helping those most at risk during the Coronavirus crisis and are urging other businesses to join them.

The Neighbourly Community Fund will funnel vital funds directly to community causes across the UK to ensure they can deliver essential services to those most at risk during the crisis. Our partners have committed a combined total of almost £500,000 to the Fund, to provide immediate micro-grants to community organisations that are helping the people most affected by the outbreak, including the elderly, those on low incomes and people at risk of food insecurity. And they are calling on other businesses to join them and contribute to the fund to build a coordinated response.

We know that many small charities and community groups face severe disruption to their services as a result of Covid-19, following a reduction in the number of volunteers and donations. These unrestricted grants will initially go to existing Neighbourly members across the UK and Ireland, including foodbanks, homeless shelters, care homes, youth groups and health charities. Some charities have told us they need urgent support to carry on running their core services, while others are adapting and starting new services to support people in the community.

Community causes supported through the fund will include organisations like The Moorlands Community Charity, which provides Meals on Wheels services for older people near Hull. Jacky Crawford, head of service there, told us: “The need for our services will increase over the coming weeks as many older people self-isolate, but without urgent help to get hold of more supplies, we just won’t be able to sustain our support.”

The immediate micro grants of up to £400 will go towards food provision, emergency supplies, practical support, running costs, transport and other essentials. By co-ordinating the emergency response, we will be able to assess where the most urgent gaps in support are, and where to direct funds to.


Steve Rowe, CEO of M&S, has commented:

"One of the things that makes me most proud to work at M&S is the role we play in our local communities. Not just through the brilliant service our colleagues give to our customers, but through the time and energy they give to helping those most in need. We can’t do this on our own and so we partner with organisations like Neighbourly who link our stores to local causes so we can donate surplus food and non-food products to the people who really need it. This fund will help mobilise over 1,000 local charities and organisations across the UK to support the most vulnerable members of our community. The whole M&S family is getting involved - including M&S Bank and M&S Energy – so we can keep up the support communities need most as events unfold."


Christian Härtnagel, CEO at Lidl GB, said:

“We are living in unprecedented times, and it’s essential that we look after those who need it most – that’s why our ‘Feed it Back’ scheme with Neighbourly is more important than ever. Through our store connections, and through this additional donation, we are able to directly support groups who are out in our communities doing an exceptional job of looking after the most vulnerable.”


Fritz Walleczek, Managing Director of Corporate Responsibility at Aldi, added:

“Neighbourly makes a huge difference in the communities they support, making sure surplus food and other donations get to those who need it most. That’s why, as a long-term partner, we’re committed to helping them throughout the year. The additional support provided through this fund is critical in ensuring Neighbourly causes have the support they need to continue making a positive difference to the most vulnerable in our society during this particularly difficult time.”


Leendert Den Hollander, Vice President and General Manager at Coca-Cola European Partners commented:

“There is nothing more important than communities at a time like this, and we fully support the excellent work Neighbourly is doing to ensure those of us most at risk are equipped with essential supplies and services through this difficult period.”  


James Pearson, Managing Director of Danone UK & Ireland, said:

“Working closely with communities has always been important to Danone and forms a core part of our ‘One Planet. One Health’ vision. We are committed to supporting our local communities and are proud to be a founding member of the Neighbourly Community Fund to help organisations on the front line in this time of uncertainty.”


The launch of the fund follows a new survey of Neighbourly’s front-line charity and community partners, which showed:

  • 77 percent of charities supporting older people expect services to be disrupted, with 75 percent of organisations who support young people fearing the same
  • More than 60 percent of charities have already seen a reduction in food surplus donations in recent weeks.
  • 75 percent of organisations expect to provide emergency provision after schools close

According to government statistics, 3 million children are at risk of going hungry while they are out of school; 1 million children who receive free school meals during term time, and another 2 million children who are ineligible for free school meals but are growing up in households in in-work poverty. Our network of charity partners estimate that with the additional pressures created by coronavirus, they expect to support an average of almost 180 people each week with emergency provision such as food and basic essentials. 


We know that what is needed by community groups and charities today will be very different over the weeks and months to come. Through our nationwide network of vetted good causes we will work closely with our partners to ensure the right support is directed to those places in most urgent need.


UK food waste down by 7%, says WRAP

24 January 2020
royal albert hall

According to the latest report from sustainability not-for-profit organisation WRAP, the past three years has seen a 7% reduction per person in the UK's total food waste - that's a whopping 480,000 tonnes.

The report has come as part of the Courtauld Commitment 2025 (C2025), a voluntary agreement that brings together organisations across the food system to make food and drink production and consumption more sustainable.

A number of factors have been cited as contributors to this welcome reduction in food waste, including WRAP's own 'Love Food Hate Waste' campaign, improved household food waste collection across the UK and clearer labelling on food packaging.

The Courtauld Commitment doesn’t just aim to tackle food waste at a household level however. Since the commitment kicked off in 2007 they have been tackling waste across the entire supply chain – from farm gate to fridge.

Promisingly, the report also reveals that households and businesses are now tackling the problem at an accelerated rate, with a greater rate of progress from 2015 to 2018 than over the preceding five years.

Increased momentum is good news considering there is still a lot more to do in order to reach the C2025's goal of reducing the UK’s food and drink waste by 20% by 2025.

Business surplus success

One of the strategies WRAP has in common with Neighbourly is our commitment to using redistribution as one of the strategies that can be used to tackle business waste. And with a 96% increase in food surplus being redistributed between 2015 and 2018, this is clearly something that’s working.

At Neighbourly, we know that surplus food isn't a long-term solution to poverty. However, whilst as a country we waste 9.5 million tonnes of food every year, we believe we should be respectful of the world's resources by diverting as much as possible to feed people in need.

To date, Neighbourly partnerships with M&S, Lidl, Aldi, Innocent and more has meant that the platform redistributed over 9,300 tonnes, equivalent to over 22 million meals, of edible food surplus to charities and community groups across the UK and Ireland.

Neighbourly CEO Steve Butterworth comments: “We work with all our retailer partners to support them as they look to continually improve commercial and operating efficiency and minimise waste.

“Where surplus product is available, we have seen a growing increase in engagement with Neighbourly to help the industry redistribute even more of what they have available for donation to local good causes.”

What’s next?

If you’re a business looking to reduce waste by donating food or surplus stock find out more about how Neighbourly can help by getting in touch.

Alternatively, WRAP has developed an industry-wide food waste roadmap and toolkit that can be used to get started.


Aldi stores across England, Scotland and Wales embrace the season of giving this Christmas

28 October 2019
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Aldi is embracing the season of goodwill once again this year, and is calling on charities and community groups across England, Scotland and Wales to register so that they can collect food donations this Christmas Eve.

Following the launch earlier this year of the successful partnership with Neighbourly, 95% of Aldi stores are now donating surplus food up to five days a week, all year round. Christmas provides an opportunity for even more charities to benefit from the initiative and we are therefore calling on all charities and community groups in England, Scotland and Wales to get in touch for a Christmas Eve donation.

As part of the Christmas initiative, charities and community groups will be paired with local stores and can collect fresh food products that are near the end of their shelf life such as fruit, vegetables, fresh meat, fish and bread after the store closes at 6pm on Christmas Eve.

Last Christmas, Aldi donated just under half a million meals to charities across the UK, and is hoping to increase this for Christmas 2019, spreading Christmas cheer to even more families.

Fritz Walleczek, Managing Director of Corporate Responsibility at Aldi UK, said: “Our Christmas food donation scheme is something we’re really passionate about, and we’re working with Neighbourly this year to pair as many stores up as possible. Last year we were able to reach thousands of people across the UK, and some charities were even able to prepare fresh meals that fed families well into the New Year. This is our third year of Christmas food donations and we’re hoping this year will be just as successful.”

Charitable groups interested in working with Aldi this Christmas should contact aldichristmas@neighbourly.com before Monday 11th November 2019. All groups that apply must:

  • Have a level 2 hygiene certificate gained in the last two years
  • Be a registered charity, CIC or community group
  • Be able to collect, transport and store chilled food products

It's Time To Cheer For Good!

29 November 2017
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From Wednesday 29th November it's time to get cheering!

Up until 20th December, 210 charities and their supporters nominated by Starbucks partners and customers around the UK will be raising awareness of important local causes on their Neighbourly pages and across Twitter using the hashtag #CheerForGood.

All 210 charities will receive a £500 grant from Starbucks and the 30 charities who cheer the loudest will receive £2,000!

You may recall similar festive campaigns Starbucks have run with Neighbourly over recent years. We spoke with charity St. Bernadette's BEEs Preschool who secured a £1,000 grant last year and here's what they had to say..

"It was a great opportunity not to be missed for such a small pre-school so we just picked up the pace and just went for it for it last year - I still can’t believe we secured £1000 by just tweeting and sharing our story. It’s just fantastic. 

We have worked tirelessly fundraising for our preschool, with more and more companies retracting support for small charities like our own the Neighbourly platform has become a vital lifeline to attract the support of companies.

We used the grant to purchase a new outdoor playhouse, sleepers, plants to grow our own vegetables, sand and arranged for Millers Animals to visit the preschool. Some of our children do not have access to an outdoor space at home and by bring the farm to the preschool more families were able to attend."

Now you can see all 210 charities taking part here! Want to support your favourite? Here's how:

  • Sign up to Neighbourly, follow and say hi to your charity on their project page
  • Tweet your support by including their Twitter handle and the hashtag #CheerForGood

Each charity's cheer will be measured by it's activity score on Neighbourly (followers, photos and updates posted etc.) and by the amount of tweets including their Twitter handle and the hashtag. So if you're tweeting support - don't forget to include #CheerForGood!

Every tweet you send will push your favourite charity just that little bit closer to that £2,000 grant so what are you waiting for?

Happy #CheerForGood everybody!


About Neighbourly

Neighbourly matches charity and community projects with people and companies that can lend a hand. Get support by creating and sharing a project or give support by following, donating or giving a day to volunteer.


Neighbourly survey finds employees that volunteer through work are 13% happier

25 October 2017
happy worker

We recently commissioned a survey to gain greater understanding of the attitudes around happy, healthy communities and the value of volunteering, with a number of questions addressing employee volunteering and happiness. Carried out by an independent research company with 2,000 people across the UK, this survey found that employees who have volunteered with their company are 13% happier than those who have not - suggesting that employee volunteering is the route to a happier workforce and as important as benefits or environment.

A happier workforce brings a number of bottom line benefits to a business, including better staff attraction and retention; improved cost savings thanks to lower staff turnover and a reduction in lost wages; as well as a positive culture and an improvement in productivity. Our survey also found that employees who volunteer are 15% more satisfied with their lives, and that they are also 15% more likely to recommend the company they work for, helping to support the recruitment of top talent.

We've found that the benefits of a happier workforce are backed up by research by other bodies. The University of Warwick1 found that being happy made people 12% more productive, whilst a CAP study2 found that replacing an employee costs approximately 20% of their annual salary. In addition, the Centre for Mental Health has just released updated figures for the estimated cost of mental health problems to employers3 which now equates to around £1,300 per employee.

Whilst the link between happiness and volunteering may not be a new one, the benefits and wider implications for employees, employers and the community cannot be ignored. So having greater insight into the positives of volunteering couldn’t have come at a more crucial time - when smaller community projects and charities are more in need of help than ever due to the reduction in funding from the government.

With 75% of millennials considering the potential to contribute to society when choosing an employer4, the possibilities for employee volunteering are huge. As well as supporting their local communities, 85% of businesses find volunteering advances talent as part of the learning and development strategy5.

Neighbourly helps businesses to activate their social purpose at a local level by aggregating charities and community projects and creating transparency around their needs through our interactive platform. We've worked with a number of retail and FMCG brands, whose volunteers’ responses also echo the findings of the nationwide survey:

  • 72% feel volunteering allows them to apply their skills
  • 80% said the experience made them feel happier
  • 86% said it raised their company’s profile
  • 89% want to take part in more events
  • 100% said volunteering made them feel proud to work for their company

Carmel McQuaid, Head of Sustainable Business at M&S, who have just completed a burst of over 340 volunteering hours as part of their 1 million hours 2025 commitment told us; ‘Our goal is to create a positive impact in society and improve peoples’ lives wherever we touch them. That’s why we encourage our employees to give up their knowledge, time, and energy to volunteer in the communities where we operate. We know from our own experience that the value of volunteering goes well beyond the impact of a single task, it actually improves employee well-being and happiness in the process.’

Find out more about employee volunteering with Neighbourly.



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References:
(1)  University of Warwick, Happiness and Productivity, February 2014
(2)  Center for American Progress, There Are Significant Business Costs to Replacing Employees, November 2012
(3)  HuffPost UK, Mental Health at Work: What No Employer Can Afford to Ignore, September 2017
(4)  Harvard Business Review, What Do Millennials Really Want At Work?, April 2016
(5)  Deloitte, Impact Survey 2016

Neighbourly launches non-food product donations

13 August 2017
zerowaste

We're delighted to announce the expansion of our food surplus scheme to include non-food product donations, with Marks & Spencer on board as the first retailer.

The extension of our award-winning food donation scheme follows research with our food charity partners earlier this year which found that 92% would like to receive non-food donations, with cleaning and laundry products and toiletries the most requested products. We also found that many are in need of kitchen equipment and furniture.

In response to this, we've expanded the platform so that the surplus scheme can now accept a wider range of products from businesses - which is a huge and exciting step forward, not just for us, but for the charities we support, the retailers we work with and the communities in which they operate. The ability to redistribute unwanted but still useful surplus items will contribute to the reduction of raw material consumption, landfill use and CO2 levels.

M&S were the first retailer to sign up to Neighbourly’s food redistribution scheme in 2015 and have been rolling out donations of chilled food including meat, dairy, poultry and prepared meals since May*. They are now asking all their stores to donate any surplus non-food items such as those that may have damaged packaging but are still fit for purpose.

Everyday items M&S will donate include batteries, bags, plant pots, cleaning and laundry products, air fresheners, personal care items and pet food. Louise Nicholls, Head of Responsible Sourcing at M&S told us: “In addition to our regular surplus food donations, the donation of non-food items forms part of our overall Plan A 2025 aim to become a zero-waste business by 2025. Being able to maximise the reuse of non-food products is not only good for our business, but it is also good for the environment and for local communities by enabling them to focus their funds on their core activities.”

Starbucks, who has worked with Neighbourly since 2014 to deliver support to hundreds of local community causes across the UK, will also be using the feature for their new Community Café programme. This will enable not-for-profit cafés to order Starbucks products and collect from their local store. These small charitable spaces, which are often embedded in their local communities, have experienced large falls in income since 2008**. The orderable Starbucks product donations include a range of kitchenware items including condiment shakers and milk steaming pitchers, in addition to food and drink such as espresso coffee and syrups.

To date, the Neighbourly surplus scheme has redistributed over 1,500 tonnes of surplus food – the equivalent of around 1.8 million meals. Over 700 charities have so far joined, and together they provide around 95,000 meals each month to their communities using the donated food. The charities range from homeless shelters, food banks and soup kitchens to community centres, schools, clubs and more.

Non-food items now accepted by the surplus scheme include (but are not limited to) laundry and household items; toiletries; baby care; pet supplies; furniture; electrical items; technology items; kitchenware; clothing and textiles; toys; sports equipment; books; garden items; and painting and DIY equipment.


Get involved

Charities: sign up to Neighbourly and request an alert for the type of products you're interested in within a certain geographical area. Your alert can range from a broad category, such as all household items, to more specific items, like books or pet supplies. If surplus becomes available, you'll receive an alert which you can accept before picking the products up from the local store or warehouse. If you're interested in food donations, get in touch: food@neighbourly.com

Businesses: if your company has surplus food or products, we’d love to talk to you about redistribution. Get in touch: hello@neighbourly.com.



*Doesn't currently include franchise M&S Simply Food stores such as railway and BP stores

** Source: Institute of Public Policy Research